12/04/2013 10:00, Report by Mark Froggatt

We're in good shape

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United “are in good shape” ahead of Sunday’s trip to Stoke City after injured trio Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling all made positive strides this week.

Speaking during his Friday morning press conference at Carrington, the boss confirmed Evans has trained all week and is in contention to start at the Britannia Stadium, while Vidic and Smalling have stepped up their individual workloads to potentially boost the Reds’ defensive options.

Paul Scholes should start training next Monday after struggling with a knee problem in recent months, however Ashley Young is set to be out for a fortnight with an ankle injury sustained during Monday’s derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford.

“I’m hoping Vida will start training today," Sir Alex told reporters. “Jonny Evans has trained this week, which is better news than we had building up to Monday’s game. Ashley Young is out – he got a sore whack on his ankle and is maybe out for two weeks. Other than that, we're in good shape in terms of player availability.

“Chris Smalling started running this week and Paul Scholes will start training with the first-team on Monday. He’s done a fair bit in the last week or so and it will be a terrific boost to get his football intelligence back in the squad. He's been out for a few weeks now so he’ll need a good bit of training with us.

"You know you’re always going to get a hard game at Stoke. That will never change."

More: Preview: Stoke v United | Red Voices podcast


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